1977 – The Second Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer

1977 (Jul) – The Second Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer

1977 – The Second Helping of Secret Recipes was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (National Homemakers Newsletter, St. Clair, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this cookbook is sometimes referred to as “Book 2”, “2nd Helpings” or “The Green Book”. Over the many years and various printings, the cover changed slightly, as did the size and price of the book. The size changed from the original 80-page, 5.5″ x 8.5″ format with 178 recipes listed to a 52-page, 8.5″ x 11″ format with 209 recipes listed. The original title remained the same, but the sub-titles also changed over the years (as seen in the various cover photos shown above and below); while the masthead of “Secret Recipe Report” was added in 1978 and, later, changed to “Cookbook”. Starting in 1978, Gloria’s son, Michael Pitzer, illustrated many of the later printings of this book.

1978 Nov – 2nd Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer
1981 May – 2nd Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer

Fun Facts:

  • Sub-Titles: “Book 2”, “Of Fast Foods & Other Favorites, Imitated by Gloria Pitzer”, “The Junk Food Junkie Rides the Range Again”, “The Fast Food Cookbook, Taking the Junk Out of Junk Food”
  • Printings: 12+
  • Years: July 1977 – August 1981+
  • Recipes: 178 listed originally; 209 listed in the larger size
  • Pages: 80 originally; 52 in the larger format
  • Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″ originally; 8.5″ x 11″ shortly after the 1st printing
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Price: Originally $3.00 for the small format; the larger format sold for $5 each
  • Used copies on eBay (larger format): $10.51
  • Used copies on Amazon (larger format): $13.99
  • ISBN: unknown

Comments (as seen on Amazon):

5 out of 5 starsDid you ever wonder? By Lanah – June 13, 2013 [Verified Purchase] – “I love good food! And I love to share good recipes, it’s a shame this lady isn’t still publishing because this is a gold Mine of great information. I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates good food and a sense of humor!” https://www.amazon.com/Second-Helping-Secret-Recipes-Favorites/product-reviews/B0006WJIQ4/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews

THE HISTORY OF “Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter”

1974 – Gloria Pitzer’s Homemaker’s Newsletter – written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI) – started as “a monthly compendium of fact and fancies”, as Gloria referred to it, adding that it was “the almost-magazine…not quite a newspaper…that can build into a book.” NO LONGER IN PRINT – this was, originally, a small, 3-ring binder-style publication, printed in a 5.5” x 8.5” format with 12 back-to-back pages packed full of “food for the table and food for thought”, household tips, humorous quips and cartoons; plus, a “Readers Swap Shop”. The newsletter originally sold for $0.50 per issue, as well as $2.75 for a 6-month subscription or $5 for a 1-year subscription.

Over the decades, the newsletter evolved with the changing times – the name slightly changed a few times, as well as the size and number of issues printed in a year; plus, of course, the cost grew with inflation too. By 1976, it was being published monthly in an 8.5” x 11”, 10-page format and sold for $0.50 per copy or $6 for a 1-year subscription. By 1978 the name slightly changed to Gloria Pitzer’s National Home News Magazine, though the format remained the same; and it sold for $7 per 1-year subscription.

In 1980, Gloria Pitzer revised the newsletter again, getting right to the heart of cooking – reducing the number of ingredients to comply with your time and, most of all, your budget. While the format size remained the same, the name was changed to “Gloria Pitzer’s Monthly Cookbook of Secret Recipes”. Each copy contained about 100 recipes and sold for $1 per issue, or you could subscribe for a full year.

Starting with the Summer issue of 1984 (Jul-Aug-Sep), the newsletter was published quarterly under the name Gloria Pitzer’s Cook’s Quarterly, still in an 8.5” x 11” format with up to 20 pages full of “Food for Thought” & “Thoughts on Food”; plus, household hints, short cut cooking tips and recipes for imitating favorite restaurant dishes and grocery products at home. It sold for $10 per 1-year (4 issues) subscription or $2.50 for a single issue.

By 1986, the newsletter was being published every 2 months under the name Secret Recipes Newsletter. Still in the 8.5” x 11” format, the 12-page publication boasted at least 50 recipes per issue along with humorous stories, “Food for Thought” and news on nutrition, restaurants and product reviews. It continued to sell for $10 for a 1-year subscription of 6 issues (or $2 per single copy) until 1989, when the price was raised to $12.50 for a 1-year subscription (or $2.50 per single copy). Then, in 1991, the price went down to $12 per year and $2.50 for single copies. The bi-monthly newsletter was temporarily retired after the March-April 1994 issue.

However, in 1995, the publication was back by popular demand under the name Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Quarterly for $16 per year (4 issues) with 20 pages per issue; each issue featured at least 75 recipes for imitating famous restaurant dishes and grocery products at home; plus, more “Food for Thought”, household hints and cooking tips. But, by 1997, the publication went back to the bi-monthly, 12-page format under the old name, Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter and sold for $16 per 1-year subscription (6 issues) or $2.75 per single copy.

In January 1998, the newsletter went back to being a monthly publication with the name shortened to Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes. The 8.5” x 11”, 8-page format was still full of “Food for Thought”, household hints and tips, famous restaurant recipes and grocery products you can make at home. During its last year of publication, it sold for $18 per 1-year subscription or $2 per single copy. It was permanently retired, after 27 years, with the December 2000 issue.

“Every issue is like getting together for coffee with friends!” SM – Gloria Pitzer

We’d love to hear from anyone who still has old copies of her original newsletters! Please write to us at: [email protected]